Why we really don’t need a Guru

relaxing after the Jikiden Reiki seminar

Once in a while, quite often actually to be honest, I ask myself what it is that I value so much about Jikiden Reiki. There are many answers to this question. Today I want to focus on the power of being ordinary. Of simply being yourself.

In Jikiden Reiki, we don’t have to comply with the externally imposed standards of behaviour sometimes expected in spiritual communities. There are as many practitioners who choose to eat meat as there are those who choose not to. My teacher, Tadao Yamaguchi, quite likes the odd glass of Lager, and another teacher who has been very important on my Reiki path, Frank Arjava Petter, surprises some of his students by his fondness of ‘bad jokes’. Earthy, unpretentious, real, humble.

I’m not saying this because I want licence to ‘misbehave’. This post is about an understanding at the heart of Jikiden Reiki that I hugely appreciate: the knowledge that ‘Reiki’, our connection to Source, to the Divine (substitute with  the language that you are comfortable with) is already there in each and every one of us. It is merely a matter of gradually – or quickly – as the case may be, tapping into this full potential that is everyone’s birthright.

I vividly remember  meeting a fellow therapist working with bio-energies at a recent training event.  Naturally I was interested in her discipline and asked a few questions. Only to be told that ‘at your level I wouldn’t expect you to understand’. Woah. Luckily I don’t take things personally. But to me the New Age world can sometimes feel full of such ‘spiritual snobbery’ and competition in terms of who is the most ‘evolved’.

My sense of Jikiden Reiki is that of a level playing field. If Reiki is based on the premise that ‘the true human being is perfect’, and, as a spiritual path as well as a healing method, is about finding our way back to what is already there, how can we spend our time judging each other? Reiki then is about a community of fellow travellers, helping each other along the way. We don’t need to put anyone else on a pedestal, we don’t need to call ourselves ‘Master’, and we can be patient with ourselves when we’re not showing too many signs of perfection yet. As long as we’re committed to keep trying. Kyo dake wa. Just for today:

Do not be angry, do not worry, be grateful, do your duties, be kind to others.

What has prompted me to write this post is the warm comments people posted on my facebook page when I let them know that we will be able to see a DVD of Chiyoko sensei in a fortnight, when Tadao sensei is coming to Edinburgh. Everyone I know who has met her was deeply touched by her presence, and yet, she seems to have been content to be ordinary all her life. My colleague, Amanda Jayne, who had the good fortune to be trained by Chiyoko, remembers her as “everyone’s favourite granny. A housewife all her life, primarily concerned with the welfare of her family and the people she cared for.”

As was clearly the case with Chiyoko sensei, a lifetime of living by the Gokai, our simple but powerful Reiki standards, should, by reasonable expectation, result in spirituality and everyday life becoming one and the same. In my teacher, Tadao Yamaguchi’s words: “Reiki is not something we want you to think of as special. It is something everybody can do that is part of daily life”.

Photo credits: Mari Okazaki, Jikiden Reiki Shihan in Vancouver & Amanda Jayne, Jikiden Reiki Shihan teaching in a number of countries, mainly in the UK and USA

10 thoughts on “Why we really don’t need a Guru

  1. Good Morning
    I am teaching Shoden this week end. I have printed this for the group to read. What is said here reflects the foundational philosophy of Jikiden Reiki. It has been my reason for becoming a part of the Jikiden Reiki community. Yes, well done.

  2. Good writing Gisella !
    I agree that many people who says “I am spiritual”, or “I am the master” are some what in a competition and trying to be better than others.
    I think is that the important thing is to be better than who I was, who I am, but not better than others.
    Mr.Yamaguchi’s casual personality reflects to the teaching of Jikiden Reiki and that is what I love about.
    Thank you!!!

  3. Thank you for your down-to-earth observations about the nature of the spiritual path. We all meet and recognize in life people who are further along the path than we are and celebrate them for it. We don’t need to worship or indeed try to emulate them but they give us hope that one day we can attain such a level of being. Such people are often playful and childlike in ways that others have forgotten how to be. Long may these indications of movement towards spiritual enlightenment act as beacons for the rest of us.

    • that’s a quality I love in the Dalai Lama
      nothing wrong with trying to emulate our fellow travellers who are a little further along the path (in my book, in fact that’s how I learn best), but we all need to ‘fill our own vessel’…

  4. Thanks for your kind comments and encouragement.
    Luckily, in Jikiden Reiki, we already have quality teaching materials, with every teacher passing on the same curriculum in more or less the same way. No need to create our own manuals 🙂 I do believe in creating community though, online and offline, for support in our practice. Sometimes Reiki is so simple it could be easy to overlook the depth, and to me, beauty.

  5. ‘Keeping it real’ on the Reiki path!

    Gisela’s point about not needing a guru on the Reiki path is spot on. Much better than having a guru is being part of a local Reiki share! Apart from the support, learning opportunities and healing possibilities available at Reiki shares, I have also found them to be a great ‘leveller’ when the ego starts to get in the way of our developing Reiki practice. If we practice Reiki in an isolated way, we run the risk of getting carried away with ourselves, despite our best intentions! Being surrounded by others on the same path pulls us back to the true essence of Reiki – honest, pure and simple.

  6. Thank you for writing this….a timely piece. I took my first Jikiden class with Arjava in May and have been brought back to my roots

  7. Pingback: Flying by my own colours | Simply Jikiden Reiki

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